In another break from tradition, Haverhill city councilors Monday elected Colin F. LePage as their vice president.
In his address to residents in City Hall auditorium, LePage wove together past and future. He said the city has “met and survived past challenges” such as the financial burden following the closure of the city-owned Hale Hospital debt and construction of a new Hunking School. Ahead, however, he pointed to aging educational and public safety buildings, infrastructure and capital equipment needs and the need for more staff in public safety and education.
“Despite these challenges, our future is bright as we all endeavor to work together to keep Haverhill moving forward. With our continued efforts in the revitalization of downtown, along with numerous public and private investments, our city is thriving,” LePage said.
Since the inauguration of the city’s charter in 1968, members usually elect the highest vote recipient president and the second highest as vice president. It is not a rule and hasn’t always been followed. Following the election of Melinda E. Barrett as City Council president over Joseph J. Bevilacqua, members elected LePage vice president without opposition.
LePage, who dedicated his speech to his mother Lori and late sons Chris and Sean, told the audience he moved to Haverhill 23 years ago and fell in love with the city. He added he has been honored to be on the inaugural stage every term since 2010.
“Your City Council will continue to work on your behalf to move Haverhill forward, while not forgetting the lessons of the past. We understand that not all decisions will always be universally embraced, but our commitment to put the best interests of the city first will never waver,” he said.